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What Millennials Want in the Workplace

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If the Millennial workforce isn’t at the forefront your every employer’s mind, it should be. Millenials (ages 18 – 34 in 2015) have an increasing influence over our culture and they are the fresh new faces on the job. You’ve probably already met many of them since they have become the largest share of the American workforce.

Millennials bring value to your company in the midst of a digital revolution. Their presence is crucial to continual business success and so is the need for employers to learn about their habits, needs and talents. It’s not necessary to revamp your company culture to accommodate this new generation, but there are a few things to keep in mind as you create a “Millennial-friendly” workplace where they can thrive and contribute to your company’s growth and success while they interact with and learn from Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

It is no secret that Millennials typically perceive work a bit differently than previous generations, that they often prefer a work schedule outside of the typical 9-5 job, or that they desire flexibility to allow for work-life integration. Not everything you’ve heard is true, though. We’ve put together a quick guide to bust myths about the Millennial generation’s workplace priorities, to explain how they tick and what fosters their best work.

One big thing to get out of the way is the misconception that Millennials are like needy toddlers that want gold stars on a chart, ice cream breaks, and endless paid time off. Let’s talk about what they really want:

An Ethical and Fair “Boss”

  • IBM released a study which found that 35 percent of Millennials want an ethical and fair boss who readily shares and communicates information. In a different study by The Intelligence Group, 79 percent of young employees want their boss to serve more as a mentor or coach than a supervisor. Taking on the coach mentality, bosses will want to converse with their young employees in a manner that allows Millennials to speak freely and collaborate instead of being bound by the hierarchy of the professional relationship.

Job Security

  • Millennials get a bad rap about wanting to switch jobs frequently; however, the facts state quite the opposite. The Pew Research Center found that young workers value job security more than Baby Boomers do. Millennials thrive best and are more likely to stay in a job they enjoy and when they feel their employer is investing in them through career development.

Flexibility

  • According to a study by Ernst & Young’s Global Generation Research, more than other generations, Millenials want flexibility regarding where and how they work so they can better manage work-life demands. Do your company policies accommodate this? If allowing telecommuting 1-2 days a week isn’t feasible, consider allowing employees the option to work a half day from home once a week.

A Collaborative Environment

  • Millennials place a high value on the quality of their relationships at work. As a general rule, they are more interested in a collaborative culture than they are in a competitive one. “Open door” policies and office spaces for group work are becoming more common in businesses to meet this need.

Millennials work just as hard as other generations, but their view on traditional workplace precedents are different. With each new generation comes a wave of change.  Businesses should strive to be on the front edge of that wave in order to obtain the best talent and avoid playing catch-up. Take a fresh look at your company through Millennial eyes and see if there are any adjustments to be made in order to attract and retain young employees. It’s time to tap into the many talents of the Millennial generation.

 

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